The area surrounding Ohakune was first settled in the 1600’s by the Ngati Rangi and Ngati Uenuku Maori tribe’s people. Development of basic roads into and around the Waimarino region existed from the late 1800’s but when the construction of the railway line to link Wellington and Auckland started its Marton to Te Awamutu section, Ohakune really began to take off.
The site of the Ohakune township came about when in the mid 1880’s railway workers set up a small camp in a clearing in bush where Ohakune now lies. Construction on the railway line over the years saw many workers and engineers coming to the area which in turn saw a need for supply businesses. In early 1908 the railway line reached Ohakune by which point 600 residents called the area home.
With access now readily available into and out of the town saw millers began to take advantage of the untouched forestry in the region. The land was stripped of its abundant forestry within a 20 year period leaving wide open farming lands with nutrient rich volcanic soil. Chinese immigrants arrived in the region to clear the land and plant crops and the region flourished as a market for vegetables including potatoes, parsnips, Swedes and of course the carrot for which Ohakune is now so famous for!
In the early 1950’s the Mountain Road Association was formed and so began the long and arduous task of forming an access road up Mount Ruapehu. With most of the work initially being undertaken by volunteers, 10 years of hard work was rewarded when funding from the government was secured and following another 5 years of work the Ohakune mountain road was completed opening up to the prospect of having a commercial ski area on Mount Ruapehu. In 1978 Turoa Skifield began operation and the rest is history!
Ohakune is well known for being a premium ski destination with thousands of skiers and snowboarders descending on the town over the winter months. It is a hive of activity and there is an unmistakable buzz about the town when the mountain is at its best!
Outside of the ski season, Ohakune is a popular destination for people enjoying the fabulous walking and hiking trails, canoeing and other activities that the region has to offer. Due to the introduction of the network of mountain bike trails in the region, Ohakune has now become a hub for cyclists during the summer months as well.
– BNZ Bank
– New World Supermarket
– Liquor Store
– BP Petrol Station
– Auto Service Centre
– Visitor Information Centre